Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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Honolulu Star-Advertiser honored for innovation in audience development

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser was one of only four U.S. newspapers to be honored with the News Media Alliance’s top award for audience development, the organization announced Monday.

The Arlington, Va.-based NMA selected the newspaper for its 2021 John P. Murray Award for Excellence in Audience Development, which honors “exceptional innovation and sophistication in understanding content strategy as part of audience development.”

The newspapers were categorized by size, with the Star-Advertiser and the Detroit Free Press sharing the top honor in the medium category. Newsday in Long Island, N.Y., won in the large category, and The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead in North Dakota took the small category honor.

“Innovative audience development allows the Honolulu Star-Advertiser to focus on its core mission of providing the community with local news, sports, commentary and entertainment while spurring public discussions on the critical issues affecting the lives of our readers and the communities we serve across the state,” said Star-Advertiser Publisher Dennis Francis.

The award winners were lauded “for their effective use of multiple platforms and formats for sharing content; development of thoughtful, responsive content and programs to help readers navigate important issues (e.g., COVID-19 vaccines, local crime, etc.); live-streaming sports and virtual events; and leveraging social media, video, and newsletter products to introduce their brands to new audiences resulted in measurable positive impacts on audience growth, subscription and advertiser revenue, and print and digital subscriptions,” NMA officials said in a news release.

A selection committee from the NMA and American Press Institute judged the competition.

“While we received many impressive nominations again this year, these four news organizations showed some amazing results in growing audience and revenue for their digital products and services that exemplify what is possible when news organizations listen to readers and what they need, and meet them where they are,” NMA President and CEO David Chavern said in the release.

The award is named in memory of former NMA Vice President of Audience Development John Murray, who was with the alliance for over 20 years before his death in 2018.

The News Media Alliance is a nonprofit representing more than 2,000 news organizations in the United States and globally. NMA members include print, digital and mobile publishers of original news content.

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